Mar 18, 2012

Ghana, for the First Time
By Alejandro Fernández Gutiérrez
(versión en español sometido antes abajo)

On March 9 for the very first time an Afro-Bolivian-Aymaran Latino visited Ghana in West Africa. I am Alejandro Fernandez Gutierrez, 26 years old, a student of a Master program. I traveled to Ghana because I am taking a class specifically about Ghana and post colonialism. However, this trip represented a lot to me in terms of identity, culture, and history.

Before joining the motherland in Ghana, I read a lot about African culture and what it represents worldwide. Pan Africanism (a concept promoted by W.E.B. Du Bois), an idea of ​​unity and power in Africa marked the first step of my interest in Ghana. These ideas of ​​Pan Africanism and unifying Africa now make more sense to me. I analyzed it and I liked it. I hope that my generation or the following one can continue with this great idea. Africa by Africans and for Africans.

African culture is present in all aspects worldwide. For example, Candombe from Uruguay, Salsa from Colombia, Samba from Brazil, and Highlife from Ghana. Looking at children and dancing with them during my visit made me think that between them and I there is no difference. If the color of my skin is a little bit less dark that does not make me any less or more of an African Descendant. Music is in our veins and the sounds of the drums are our passport. African black culture colonized the world and today is one of the most influential in all that we can call music.

Finally, the story is difficult and hard to describe for Africans themselves. Africa suffered one of the worst genocides in the human history. The colonizer got into the jungle to impose a culture and take them as slaves. This is the story that will live for generations so as to not repeat it anymore! The world has to know that Africa was invaded by white "modern" Europeans who did not think of their neighbor, much less in cooperation. They destroyed a past existence called culture, but today I'm here like many young men and women of the Afro-Diaspora willing to raise our voices and tell the world that we are proud to not only be not part of a culture and history that was unjustly inflicted, but also musically influential. The world knows a lot and in terms of music, dance, and food, but the world should not forget that all of them come from a place called Africa!